October 15, 2019
COLLEGE BASEBALL

Playoff streak ended UM loses 3 of 4 against Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The University of Maine’s streak of seven consecutive seasons reaching the postseason is over.

Junior Justin Albert on Sunday became the third Vermont lefthander to stymie the Black Bears on the weekend, pitching a five-hitter in the Catamounts’ 9-1 victory in Game 2 of their America East baseball doubleheader at Centennial Field.

The Bears, who won Sunday’s opener 16-5, won’t qualify for the conference tournament for the first time since 2000. Neither coach Steve Trimper nor his players wanted to acknowledge that reality.

“We put ourselves in this spot by losing a lot of these close games and it’s something that we’ve got to learn to get over,” Trimper said, pointing toward next weekend’s series at Binghamton.

On Saturday, lefthanders Eric Thompson and Joe Serafin shut down UMaine as Vermont swept by scores of 4-2 and 1-0.

“We were hoping to take three out of four here, but it didn’t happen,” said senior captain Curt Smith. “We’ve still got four games left, we’ve just got to make the best out of it.”

In Sunday’s finale, the Bears couldn’t get to Albert, who struck out seven and walked one. He pitched 8 2/3 shutout innings before UMaine scratched out a run to break a string of 21 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings against Vermont lefties.

“I really thought after that first game we were going into the next game and catch on fire and take it into the next weekend, which we really needed to do,” said UMaine’s Billy Cather. “It didn’t really go our way [Sunday].”

Albert retired 16 straight Bears through the middle innings and was backed by strong run support.

Kyle Massie led UVM with a double and two singles (two RBIs) and Mark Micowski singled three times.

Matt Howard was hit by a pitch to get UMaine’s RBI.

In Sunday’s opener, the Bears scored eight runs in the seventh inning against the UVM bullpen while pulling away.

Kevin McAvoy of Brewer stroked four singles and knocked in four runs to spearhead UMaine’s 18-hit onslaught in support of sophomore righthander Joe Miller (5-2), who pitched the first four innings.

Freshman Jimmy Cox of Bangor worked the last three innings for his second straight save.

“Our season’s really on the line right now and we definitely don’t want to go home early,” McAvoy said between games. “Right down the lineup, everybody was hitting the ball.”

UMaine bounced back after Saturday’s frustrating offensive effort, getting numerous clutch hits while maintaining the upper hand on the scoreboard.

Each UMaine starter posted at least one hit as the Bears took a 5-1 lead in the first two innings against shaky starter Keith Rakus (3-5) to set the tone.

Myckie Lugbauer drilled a solo home run and an RBI single, while freshman Jarrett Lukas of Old Town and Smith each doubled and singled with two RBIs for UMaine. Cather and Danny Menendez each had two singles.

Lukas broke an 0-for-15 slump with two hits in the eighth. He hit a leadoff single to center to open the barrage and later stung a two-out, two-run double to keep it going.

The uprising also included run-scoring singles by Menendez and Tony Patane, a two-run single by McAvoy and Kevin Jackson’s RBI single.

Massie paced Vermont with three singles.

In Saturday’s second game, McAvoy grounded a single to left field on an 0-2 curveball with two out in the seventh inning, spoiling Thompson’s no-hit bid.

“It’s not really impressive to be one-hit, but to be no-hit, it’s emotional,” McAvoy said. “I just didn’t want to do that to the team.”

Thompson, a senior, mixed a soft curveball and a good fastball. He struck out eight and walked four, one intentionally, and threw 99 pitches, only 55 for strikes.

“Both pitchers that threw today had a really good offspeed pitch and they just kept us honest and came with the fastball when they needed to,” McAvoy said.

The Bears had few chances to score against Thompson, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

“The way the ball’s bouncing right now, we’re not getting a big hit from our offense,” Trimper said. “That’s costing us wins; it’s been costing us for a while.”

Vermont scored the only run in the fourth off loser Matt Jebb (2-5). With runners at first and second and two out, Micowski fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before punching an RBI single through the middle.

The Bears’ best chance came in the second on two walks, but Thompson worked out of trouble.

In Saturday’s first game, Matt Duffy’s two-run single in the fifth off Kevin Scanlan (2-5) provided the eventual winning run.

The crafty Serafin (6-3) spaced seven hits, striking out six and walking two, while thwarting the Bears in key situations. UMaine went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and made two throwing errors that led to runs.

The Catamounts reached Scanlan for 10 hits in six innings, but the freshman lefty minimized the damage.

The hosts took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Massie singled, Miguel Magrass reached on Scanlan’s throwing error and both advanced on a Justin Milo sacrifice bunt. Duffy grounded a single to right to put UVM ahead for good.

Cather stroked two singles for UMaine, scoring in the first on Smith’s double down the left-field line. Mark Ostrander singled and scored on Lugbauer’s single to center in the third.

Massie singled three times for the Catamounts.

pwarner@bangordailynews.net

990-8240

CATAMOUNTS 4, BLACK BEARS 2

(Saturday’s First Game, 9 innings)

Maine (18-24-1) Vermont (22-20)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Cather, cf 3 1 2 0 Micowski, cf 4 0 0

Ostrander, rf 3 1 1 0 Massie, 3b 4 0

Smith, 1b 3 0 1 1 Magrass, dh 4 1 0

Lugbauer, c 4 0 1 1 Milo, lf 3 0 0

Patane, ss 4 0 0 0 Duffy, ss 4 0 2

Lukas, 3b 4 0 0 0 Paquette, 1b 4 1 0

McAvoy, lf 4 0 1 0 Allen, cf 3 1 0

Menendez, 2b 4 0 1 0 Nolet, c 2 0 0

Howard, dh 3 0 0 0 Currier, 2b 3 0 1

Mercurio, ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 33 2 7 2 Totals 31 4 11 3

Maine 101 000 000 – 2

Vermont 010 020 01x – 4

E-Lukas (11), Menendez (6), Scanlan (3); Paquette (3); LOB-Maine 7; Vermont 9; 2B-Smith (13); Paquette (6), Currier (4); S-Ostrander; Milo, Nolet, Currier; SB-Massie 2 (10), Magrass (6)

Vermont IP H R ER BB SO

Scanlan (L, 2-5) 6 10 3 2 2 6

Benoit 2 1 1 0 1 1

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Serafin (W, 6-3) 9 7 2 2 2 6

WP-Benoit; Serafin; T-2:16

CATAMOUNTS 1, BLACK BEARS 0

(Saturday’s Second Game, 7 innings)

Maine (18-25-1) Vermont (23-20)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Cather, cf 3 0 0 0 Micowski, cf 2 0 1

Ostrander, rf 3 0 0 0 Massie, 3b 3 0

Smith, 1b 2 0 0 0 Milo, lf 2 0 0

Lugbauer, c 2 0 0 0 Magrass, dh 2 0 0

Patane, ss 2 0 0 0 Duffy, ss 3 0 0

Lukas, 3b 2 0 0 0 Paquette, rf 3 0 0

McAvoy, lf 3 0 1 0 Henry, 1b 1 1 0

Mercurio, dh 3 0 0 0 Nolet, c 2 0 0

Menendez, 2b 1 0 0 0 Currier, 2b 3 0 0

Totals 21 0 1 0 Totals 21 1 7 1

Maine 000 000 0 – 0

Vermont 000 100 x – 1

LOB-Maine 5; Vermont 8; 2B-Henry (7); DP-Maine 1; S-Patane; SB-Menendez (9)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Jebb (L, 2-5) 5 1/3 7 1 1 4 2

Benoit 2/3 0 0 0 1 0

Vermont IP H R ER BB SO

Thompson (W, 5-1) 7 1 0 0 4 8

HBP-by Jebb (Magrass); BK-Benoit; T-1:48; ATT-314

BLACK BEARS 16, CATAMOUNTS 5

(Sunday’s First Game, 7 innings)

Maine (19-25-1) Vermont (23-21)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Cather, cf 3 3 2 0 Micowski, cf 2 2 0

Martin, lf 3 1 2 0 Massie, 3b 4 1 0

Ostrander, pr-rf 2 1 0 1 Milo, lf 4 1

Hasenfus, lf 0 0 0 0 Paquette, rf-1b 4 0 2

Smith, 1b 4 3 2 2 Duffy, ss 3 0 1

Lugbauer, c 3 2 2 2 Magrass, dh 2 0 0

McAvoy, rf/lf 5 1 4 4 Allen, rf 0 0

Patane, ss 5 1 1 1 Henry, 1b-p 3 1 0

Lukas, 3b 4 2 2 3 Nolet, c 3 0 1

Jackson, dh 5 0 1 1 Petroskey, pr 0 0 0

Menendez, 2b 5 2 2 1 Leclerc, c 0 0 0

Currier, 2b 2 0 0 0

Totals 39 16 18 15 Totals 27 5 8 5

Maine 230 201 8 – 16

Vermont 103 001 0 – 5

E-Cather (1); LOB-Maine 8; Vermont 5; 2B-Martin (7), Smith (14), Lukas (6); Duffy (17), Nolet (5); HR-Lugbauer (5); DP-Maine 2; SB-Cather (15), Menendez (10)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Miller (W, 5-2) 4 5 4 4 4 1

Cox (S, 2) 3 3 1 1 0 2

Vermont IP H R ER BB SO

Rakus (L, 3-5) 1 5 4 4 2 3

Kelly 3 5 3 3 1 3

Ozanich 2 1 1 1 1 0

Henry 2/3 6 8 8 2 0

Matusick 1/3 1 0 0 0 0

WP-Henry 2, Rakus 2; T-2:40.

CATAMOUNTS 9, BLACK BEARS 1

(Sunday’s Second Game, 9 innings)

Maine (19-26-1) Vermont (24-21)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Cather, cf 4 0 1 0 Micowski, cf 4 2 0

Patane, ss 4 0 0 0 Massie, 3b 5 2 2

Smith, dh 4 0 1 0 Milo, lf 3 1 1

Lugbauer, 1b 3 1 0 0 Moylan, lf 0 0 0

McAvoy, rf 3 0 0 0 Paquette, rf 5 2 1

Lukas, 3b 4 0 1 0 Duffy, ss 4 0 2

Mercurio, c 4 0 0 0 Magrass, dh 4 1 3

Jackson, pr 0 0 0 0 Henry, 1b 4 0 0

Howard, lf 3 0 1 1 Leclerc, c 4 1 0

Menendez, 2b 4 0 1 0 Currier, 2b 4 0 0

Totals 33 1 5 1 Totals 37 9 13 9

Maine 000 000 001 – 1

Vermont 303 101 10x – 9

E-Cather (2), Lukas (12); LOB-Maine 8; Vermont 7; 2B-Massie 2 (7), Milo (13), Paquette 2 (8); HR-Magrass (6); DP-Maine 1

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Balsinde (L, 2-6) 3 2/3 9 7 7 0 0

Latta 3 1/3 3 2 2 2 2

Balentina 1 1 0 0 1 2

Vermont IP H R ER BB SO

Albert (W, 4-4) 9 5 1 1 1 7

HBP- McAvoy, Howard (by Albert); WP-Latta 2; Albert; T-2:28; ATT-329


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